Thai Commerce Minister to chair probe into reports of used medical gloves being exported to US
A fact-finding committee, chaired by Thailand’s Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, will meet at Government House this afternoon (Wednesday) to begin an investigation into claims, made in a recent CNN report, that tens of millions of used medical gloves have been exported to the United States from Thailand.
President of the Thai Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (TRGMA) Veerasith Sincharoenkul said that the actions reported by CNN have tarnished the reputation of Thai rubber glove producers in the US and the European Union, which are major export markets.
Veerasith urged the government to nail the real culprits and to keep a closer watch on new manufacturers established during COVID-19 pandemic, instead of tightening controls over the entire industry, particularly long-established manufacturers.
He also recommended that foreign importers check with the TRGMA, which maintains a full list of credible suppliers.
Jurin said yesterday that he wants any indication that politicians were involved in the fraudulent supply of used or substandard medical gloves to be fully investigated before reaching any conclusions, but that he hopes the investigation will help restore the credibility of Thai gloves.
During the first eight months of this year, export of Thai rubber gloves to the US, is estimated to have been worth US$1.09 billion, an increase of 133.96% over the same period last year. Exports to all markets for the whole year are expected to double those of last year.
According to the Thai police, fraudulent rubber medical gloves cases normally involve used gloves that have been washed and repackaged, substandard gloves imported from China and repackaged or substandard gloves produced in Thailand.